Linux Users on NBC's Olympics Videos: We Don't Get No Respect

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 08, 2008

Where is Rodney Dangerfield when we need him? There are some heated messages flying around in the Ubuntu forums because NBC has announced that it will offer its online video coverage of the Beijing Olympics to Internet Explorer and Firefox users on the Mac and Windows, but not to Linux browser users. "This means the considerable amount of online video available to other users is out of reach of the Linux crowd," writes one forum poster. "You wonder why they'd want to kiss off 2%-3% of the desktops," writes another. Would it really be so difficult to offer video to users of Firefox on Linux?

As our sister blog NewTeeVee notes, the Olympics have kicked off, and online users are looking at their options for watching video coverage. NewTeeVee also has an excellent post on torrent and pirate sites that will be offering up video.

Nevertheless, NBC's official stance is to support Internet Explorer and Firefox for Windows and the Mac, but there is no Linux support. This seems absolutely foolish. How hard is it cater to users of Firefox on Linux?

In addition to the Ubuntu forum thread above featuring disgruntled Linux users, there is also this one, where users are attributing this to a conspiracy between "M$" and NBC. So far, nobody in the Linux community appears to have a workaround here, but some users are already experimenting with using WINE, which allows Linux users to reach out to Windows applications.

I'm betting that somebody will post a workaround. In the meantime, here is NBC's posted policy: